As the popularity of Instagram continues to ensure that our current era has more photographed meals than any other in history, we still have a hunger for photography that exposes truths about the human condition and natural world. Lucky for us, there are still institutions promoting such things. Just this week, for instance, the World Photography Organization announced the shortlist for the Sony World Photography Awards.
In order to arrive at the finalists for the annual competition, a panel of judges combed through more than 122,000 entries from 170 countries–the highest number of submissions yet. Topics in the Professional, Open, and Youth categories ranged from the everyday splendor of animals and nature to before-and-after pregnancy photos, and to a close examination of moviegoers in Kabul.
Have a look through some of the best images in the slide show above.